Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Jim Yong Kim

Jim Yong Kim

Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs

Biography

Jim Yong Kim M.D., Ph.D., is Vice Chairman and Partner at Global Infrastructure Partners, a fund that invests in infrastructure projects across several sectors around the world.

From July 2012 to February 2019, Kim served as the 12th President of the World Bank Group. Soon after he assumed that position, the organization established two goals to guide its work: to end extreme poverty by 2030; and to boost shared prosperity, focusing on the bottom 40 percent of the population in developing countries.

During Kim’s tenure, the World Bank Group supported the development priorities of countries at levels never seen outside of a financial crisis. Along with partners, the World Bank achieved two successive, record replenishments of the institution’s fund for the poorest countries. The World Bank Group also launched several innovative financial instruments, including facilities to address infrastructure needs, prevent pandemics, and help the millions of people forcibly displaced from their homes by climate shocks, conflict, and violence.

A physician and anthropologist, Kim’s career has revolved around health, education, and improving the lives of the poor. Before joining the World Bank Group, he served as the President of Dartmouth College and held professorships at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. From 2003 to 2005, Kim served as Director of the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS department. He led WHO’s “3 by 5” initiative, the first-ever global goal for AIDS treatment, which greatly expanded access to antiretroviral medication in developing countries. In 1987, Kim co-founded Partners In Health, a non-profit medical organization that now works in poor communities on four continents.

Kim received a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, was recognized as one of America’s “25 Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report, and was named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”

Publications

“The Human Capital Gap: Getting Governments to Invest in People”; Foreign Affairs; July/August 2018 Issue. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2018-06-14/human-capital-gap 

“Financing the SDGs: Mobilising and Using Domestic Resources for Health and Human Capital”; The Lancet, with Roch Mac Christrian Kabore, Erna Solberg, and Melinda Gates; November 3, 2018. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)32597-2/fulltext

“Eliminating Poverty in the 21st Century: the Role of Health and Human Capital”; Journal of the American Medical Association; October 9, 2018. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2705448

Reimagining Global Health: An Introduction (as editor, with Paul Farmer, Arthur Kleinman, and Matthew Basilico; University of California Press, 2013. https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520271999/reimagining-global-health

Talks & Media

“Doesn’t Everyone Deserve a Chance at a Good Life?” TED Talk – TED 2017, Vancouver, Canada. https://www.ted.com/talks/jim_yong_kim_doesn_t_everyone_deserve_a_chance_at_a_good_life?language=en

The David Rubenstein Show; Bloomberg TV. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HBzTz4c3SU 

World Bank Group-IMF Annual Meetings Plenary Speech; Bali, Indonesia; October 12, 2018. https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/speech/2018/10/12/remarks-by-world-bank-group-president-jim-yong-kim-at-the-2018-annual-meetings-plenary

“Human Capital and Technology: Building a New Social Contract”; Stanford University; Lecture and Conversation with Fmr. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice; October 2, 2018. https://live.worldbank.org/human-capital-and-technology
https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/speech/2018/10/02/pre-annual-meetings-positioning-speech 

“Rich and Poor: Opportunities in an Age of Disruption”; American University; Lecture and Conversation with Joshua Johnson; April 10, 2018. https://www.wcl.american.edu/news-events/news/world-bank-group-president-jim-yong-kim-discusses-opportunities-challenges-in-developing-nations-during-visit-to-american-university-washington-college-of-law/
http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/speech/2018/04/10/rich-and-poor-opportunities-and-challenges-in-an-age-of-disruption

“Technology, Prosperity, and Aspirations”; Speech at GSMA Mobile World Congress’ Barcelona, Spain; February 26, 2018. https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/speech/2018/02/26/speech-by-world-bank-group-president-jim-yong-kim-at-the-gsma-2018-mobile-world-congress

“Human Capital and the Future of Economic Security”; Conversation with prof. Alan Blinder; Council on Foreign Relations; February 23, 2018. https://www.cfr.org/event/human-capital-and-future-economic-growth-and-security

“Multilateralism in the 21st Century: New Foundations for Prosperity and Human Solidarity”; Speech at National Press Club, Washington, D.C.; November 20, 2017. https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/speech/2017/11/20/remarks-by-world-bank-group-president-jim-yong-kim-at-the-national-press-club-headliners-luncheon

“Challenging the World to Build New Foundations of Human Solidarity”; Columbia University, Gabriel Silver Memorial Lecture, October 5, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17MM-0usn4g 

“Rethinking Development Finance”; Lecture and conversation with Zeinab Badawi; London School of Economics and Political Science; April 11, 2017. http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/speech/2017/04/11/speech-by-world-bank-group-president-jim-yong-kim-rethinking-development-finance

News|Recent News

Senior Fellow Jim Yong Kim '82 with Director Ed Steinfeld

Former World Bank President discusses climate change

February 8, 2019 Brown Daily Herald

Senior Fellow Jim Yong Kim '82 sat down with Director Edward Steinfeld for the inaugural distinguished lecture in Stephen Robert '62 Hall. "We have to find ways of aligning market forces so that, literally out of greed, people are running to make investments that will protect us from the most devastating impacts of climate change."

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Senior Fellow Jim Yong Kim '82 with Director Ed Steinfeld

Global carbon price is key to confronting climate change, Kim says

February 8, 2019 News from Brown

During his discussion at the Watson Institute, Senior Fellow Jim Yong Kim '82, former president of the World Bank, emphasized the importance of investment and renewable energy. "Investing in solar and wind [energy] instead of coal has to be such a great business proposition that people are running to do it."

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